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MAKING WISER DECISIONS

Exodus 2:11-22, Hebrews 11:24-27

  • Almost every Mother wants her Children to make wise choices in the emotional, financial, physical, relational, spiritual, and vocational decisions of their lives.
  • What are some of the best and worst choices I’ve ever made?
  • We’ve all made plenty of good and bad choices in life.
  • There are three truths about choices: 1) Choices always lead to consequences (Galatians 6:7), 2) “Fleshly choices” are always wrong choices (Romans 6:12-14), and 3) “Faith choices” are almost always right choices (Romans 1:17).
  • When we make choices about significant issues or relationships, they impact us and others for the rest of our lives, and can even impact others after we are gone.
  • Moses was a great man who made some of the “best” and “worst” choices ever made (Exodus 2:11-22, Hebrews 11:24-27).
  • What can we learn from the life of Moses that will help us make better choices in the future?

Making Better Choices Requires:
COMMITTING OURSELVES TO GODLY LIVING

  • “It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin.” (Hebrews 11:24-25)
  • It is the natural tendency of every person to pursue the “path of least resistance,” but the right way is seldom the easiest way of doing anything.
  • “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (Proverbs 14:12)
  • We don’t make good decisions when ungodly desires guide our decision-making, because they bring only fleeting pleasure and much pain (Hebrews 11:25).
  • “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.” (James 1:14-15)
  • We can only conquer ungodly desires when We Love And Want The Lord More Than We Love Ourselves And Want The World.
  • “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. . . . And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.” (1 John 2:15-17)
  • We can only conquer ungodly desires when We Are Being Led By God’s Spirit.
  • “Live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” (Galatians 5:16)
  • Our faith in God ultimately is what gives us the ability to make correct rather than convenient or compromising choices (Hebrews 11:24).
  • “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” (Romans 1:17)

Making Better Choices Requires:
CONTROLLING OUR UNGODLY EMOTIONS

  • “Many years later, when Moses had grown up, he went out to visit his own people, the Hebrews, and he saw how hard they were forced to work. During his visit, he saw an Egyptian beating one of his fellow Hebrews. After looking in all directions to make sure no one was watching, Moses killed the Egyptian and hid the body in the sand.” (Exodus 2:11-12)
  • Even the best people struggle with ungodly or negative emotions at times.
  • To make good choices we must learn how to overcome Frustration and Anger In Our Lives.
    • Frustration and Anger can ruin friendships, marriages and other relationships, and bring harm to us physically, emotionally and spiritually.
    • “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32)
    • We overcome Anger and Frustration by: 1) confessing those struggles (Proverbs 28:13), 2) contemplating why we’re angry or frustrated (Proverbs 19:11), 3) controlling our anger or frustration (Ephesians 4:26, 5:16) 4) commanding the Devil to leave us alone (James 4:7) and 5) committing to becoming like Jesus in our attitude and actions (Philippians 2:1-5).
  • “The next day, when Moses went out to visit his people again, he saw two Hebrew men fighting. ‘Why are you beating up your friend?’ Moses said to the one who had started the fight. The man replied, ‘Who appointed you to be our prince and judge? Are you going to kill me as you killed that Egyptian yesterday?’ Then Moses was afraid, thinking, ‘Everyone knows what I did.’ And sure enough, Pharaoh heard what had happened, and he tried to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in the land of Midian.” (Exodus 2:13-15)
  • To make good choices we must learn how to overcome Fear And Despair In Our Lives.
    • The Lord wants us to obtain victory over our fears because: 1) fear emotionally traumatizes us, 2) fear makes us vulnerable to the Devil’s attack, 3) fear keeps from living by God’s will and keeps us stuck in our lives, and, 4) He wants us to live by faith rather than by fear.
    • “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
    • To overcome Fear we must: 1) access God’s power (Acts 1:8, 1 John 4:4), 2) believe in God’s love and commitment to us (1 John 4:18), 3) cultivate self-control in our lives (Proverbs 25:28).
    • “The Lord is my light and my salvation – so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?” (Psalm 27:1)

Making Better Choices Requires:
CONNECTING WITH GODLY PEOPLE

  • “When Moses arrived in Midian, he sat down beside a well. Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters who came as usual to draw water and fill the water troughs for their father’s flocks. But some other shepherds came and chased them away. So Moses jumped up and rescued the girls from the shepherds. Then he drew water for their flocks. When the girls returned to Reuel, their father, he asked, ‘Why are you back so soon today?’ ‘An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds,’ they answered. ‘And then he drew water for us and watered our flocks.’ ‘Then where is he?’ their father asked. ‘Why did you leave him there? Invite him to come and eat with us.’ Moses accepted the invitation, and he settled there with him. In time, Reuel gave Moses his daughter Zipporah to be his wife. Later she gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom for he explained, ‘I have been a foreigner in a foreign land.’” (Exodus 2:15-22)
  • The quality of our lives will be determined in large part by our relationships – especially with family, friendships and Christian partnerships.
  • “The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray.” (Proverbs 12:26 NKJV)
  • “I am a friend to anyone who fears You (O God), to anyone who obeys Your commandments.” (Psalm 119:63)
  • “Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation. For it is better to be alone than in bad company.” (George Washington)
    “Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)
  • The best places to develop good and godly friendships are in Life Groups or on Ministry Teams at Celebration Church.

Making Better Choices Requires:
CONTINUALLY FOCUSING ON ETERNITY

  • “He (Moses) thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his great reward.” (Hebrews 11:26)
  • The Bible teaches us that one day we will all stand before the Lord to be judged about how we lived here on Planet Earth.
  • “For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.” (2 Corinthians 5:10)
  • “1 in 200 high school senior boys will get drafted into a professional baseball league. If basketball is your sport, that drops to 1 in 3000. The odds of becoming an astronaut are 1 in 1250. The odds of becoming a U.S. congressperson are roughly 1 in 600,000. However, the odds of standing before the Lord and giving an account of your life are 100%.” (Patrick Eagan)
  • When we think through our choices before we make them, realizing they will have eternal and as well as temporal consequences, we will make better choices.
  • The Lord to His Faithful Followers when they get to Heaven – “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!” (Matthew 25:21)
  • Every Parent, Spouse, Child and Friend would be blessed if the people in their family and relationship circles would learn how to make godly choices, and commit to making those kinds of choices.
  • Some good choices to make today could include committing to: 1) put today’s message into practice in our daily lives; 2) attend Church services or Life Groups regularly, 3) take the step of “baptism by immersion” to show we’re committed to living for Jesus, 4) share this message with others, 5) ask forgiveness from those we’ve unharmed by our unwise, self-centered choices in times past.
  • “One’s philosophy in life is not best expressed in words. It is expressed in the choices one makes. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves by our choices.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)
  • Who and what we are is more a result of the Choices we have made than the Circumstances of our lives.
  • What is the Lord communicating to me through this message?

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NEWS & EVENTS

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FIRST STEPS is the membership course for Celebration Church. This four-week course is designed to help the participant understand his first steps at Celebration Church, all the while setting him up for his next steps of growth and service.

  • Introduces Salvation, Baptism and Christian Growth.
  • History and Vision of Celebration
  • Promotes Worship Service Attendance and Church Involvement
  • Introduces Celebration Statement of Beliefs
  • Launches Participants into Life Group
  • Introduces Celebration Serve Team Categories
  • Launches Participants into Serve Teams
  • Introduces Celebration Church Values and Spiritual Freedom
  • Reviews Membership Expectations
  • Launches Participants towards NEXT STEPS and DISCIPLESHIP PATHWAYS

The FIRST STEPS course takes place on four consecutive weeks

(Lesson One = Week One, Lesson Two = Week Two…). If someone misses a week one month, they can return the following month and make it up. Although people can start at any point, the flow of the course works better if they begin on Week one.

PASTORS ARTICLE

Welcome to Mother’s Day Weekend at Celebration Church. Today, we are honoring Mothers and affirming and appreciating all of our Ladies in our congregation. Ladies, our lives and our Church family have been so enriched by your encouragement, help and support over the years.

We actually all have different types of “Mothers” to be thankful for. We should be thankful for the Mothers who provided us with love and care during our childhood. We should also be grateful for “relational mothers,” mature female friends who over the years have encouraged and guided us. We should also be thankful for “Spiritual Mothers,” Christian ladies who have helped us in our walk with the Lord. If you have had such a “mother” in your life, take time today to thank them if they’re still living, or to thank God if they’ve passed from this life to the next life. May we all purpose to be good encouragers and “parents” to the people around us in our lives.

Today we are also continuing our The God Of The Broken Sermon Series from the first four chapters of the Old Testament Book of Exodus. In the early chapters of Exodus, the people of God were “broken” because of the hardship and heartache they’d experienced in Egypt, much like the hardship and heartache experienced by people in our world in the past 12 months. We’ve learned thus far how to: “Stay Focused in Difficult Times”, “Break Free From Life’s Strongholds”, “Protect What Matters,” and “Transform Our Children’s Destinies,” and today we’re learning how to “Make Wiser Decisions.” For a review of previous messages from The God Of The Broken Sermons, go to your Campus Social Media pages or to www.facebook.com/celebrationchurchnola.

One of the highlights of 2021 has been the spiritual growth experienced by those who have been tracking with us through our Journey Through The Bible daily devotions. If you would like to join us in viewing/hearing and/or reading those daily devotions, go to www.celebrationchurch.org/devotions. Jesus said, “People don’t live by bread alone, but by the words of God” (Matthew 4:4). Learn how to really live as you join us daily for our Journey Through The Bible Bible readings and daily devotions.

If today you want to Make A Decision, share some Prayer Requests with us or Give to support God’s work through Celebration Church today, there are places for you to do that on this Digital Worship Guide (webcc.info). Thanks for supporting God’s work through our Church. Lives are being changed, marriages are being reconciled, families are being restored and people are experiencing the transforming power of Jesus as a result of your support of our Church’s ministry through your prayers, service and giving.

On behalf of the People, Ministries and Organizations helped through our recent Serve Day efforts, I want to thank all who participated. Your willingness to serve and help others is a great indicator of your love for the Lord and people. We look forward to sharing with you in the coming days about some of the things accomplished through our Serve Day efforts.

We look forward to having you back with us next weekend as we continue our The God Of The Broken Sermon Series.

Dennis Watson

Lead Pastor, Celebration Church

KIDS & TEENS MINISTRIES

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Kidztown Children’s Ministry is all about partnering with parents to disciple the children who attend our church. Our Uptown ministry targets 1st through 4th Grade students, and our Downtown ministry is aimed at Birth to Kindergarten students. Each ministry area is a safe, secure and nurturing educational environment with our leaders and trained volunteers.

The Children’s Ministry of Celebration Church has a three-fold life purpose for every child, which is no different than the purpose for an adult’s life!

We want children to:

• Learn about Jesus
• Live for Jesus
• Let others know about Jesus

Our three-fold life purpose is designed to be experienced by our babies and toddlers just as much as it can be experienced by our elementary students. We want our babies to feel the love of Jesus the minute they come through our doorway.
As songs are sung and stories are read, children will understand that they are special in God’s Kingdom and will begin to open up their hearts and minds to receive the “Good News” of Jesus Christ. Our goal is for every child to become fully devoted followers of Christ, by asking Jesus to be their forever friend!

It is our privilege to partner with parents, grandparents and other significant adults in a child’s life as we embark on this journey together. The precious children that have been entrusted to our loving care are a treasure to us as well. We believe there is no greater call that to make a difference in the life of a child.

Visit our website by clicking the button below to meet our staff or apply to become a volunteer.

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Midpoint is a ministry just for 5th through 7th graders. Because we know that kids at this age are trying to figure out whether they are children or pre-teens, our Midpoint leaders work hard to create a “cool” atmosphere in the context of a very safe and protected environment. Their leaders and pastors teach them an age-appropriate message and then the young people are challenged to talk through how to apply those biblical principles to their lives in small group discussions.

Midpoint meets during all weekend worship services. Students join their parents for the music portion of the service and then are dismissed during the video announcements where leaders take them to their designated ministry area. Midpoint also has periodic outreach events, parties, field trips, games, crafts and other fun experiences centered around 5th through 7th graders.

Visit our website by clicking the button below to meet our staff or apply to become a volunteer.

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The Social Youth Ministry is designed so our teenagers (8th-12th grade) can meet weekly for a fun, exciting, and relevant youth service that focuses on challenging teenagers in their daily lives. This service is planned with the intention of encouraging, motivating, and inspiring young people to overcome the challenges they face in life and to make a difference in the world they live in through Jesus Christ! All of our youth services are relevant to the searching teen, understandable to the new believer, and challenging for the mature believer. Throughout the week youth meet in small groups called Life Groups. Life Groups provide a community experience where teens can share what is happening in their lives and hold each other accountable for following the Bible lessons learned in their weekly Wednesday night service. Visit our website by clicking the button below to meet our staff or apply to become a volunteer.

 

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CHRISTMAS EVE

PASTORS ARTICLE

Dear Celebration Members and Guests,

Welcome to Christmas Eve at Celebration – where God is met, Love is felt and Lives are changed. Our Pastors, Leaders and I pray that you will be encouraged by today’s service.

Christmas is about God’s Son bringing hope and transformation to our world, and at Celebration people from all walks of life are experiencing Lord’s hope, joy and peace. Children and Teens in our Church are growing up to be strong, positive and spiritual individuals. College Students, Single Adults and Couples are learning how to have stronger lives and relationships as they find God’s purpose for their lives. Senior Adults are also finding new purpose as they mentor and minister to the generations that follow them. And many people are finding help, hope and healing for their lives through the ministries of our Church.

Through our Life Group ministry and other ministries, great friendships are being established, people are growing stronger spiritually and relationally, and they are learning how to have a positive influence on the world around them.

We would love for you to join us in upcoming weeks to discover more about God’s purposes and plans for your life, and to learn how you can experience His best in your life. In January we are beginning the TRANSFORMED spiritual growth emphasis. In this special emphasis we’re going to learn how to “transform” our lives, circumstances and relationships so we can become “transformers” of the culture around us.

To benefit fully from TRANSFORMED, our Pastors and I are sharing some critical concepts on upcoming weekends that will help us all prepare to become “transformed.”

  • On December 26-27 we will learn “How God Changes Us.”
  • On December January 2-3 we will learn about “The Five Habits Of Healthy People”
  • On January 9-10 we will learn “How To Have A Great Support System In Our Lives”

In the weeks that follow as we begin TRANSFORMED, we will learn in our Life Groups and In-person and Online Worship Services: 1) How To Set Personal Goals By Faith, 2) How To Get Close To God, 3) How To Move From Stressed To Blessed In Our Lives, 4) How To Change Our Lives By Changing Our Minds, 5) How To Overcome Fears That Ruin Relationships and much more. All of those teachings can be accessed Online as well as in In-person Life Groups and Worship Services. We would love for you to be a part of our TRANSFORMED emphasis.

Also to help people experience the transforming power of the Lord throughout 2021, we’re offering our Journey Through The Bible adventure that begins on January 1. Through daily podcasts and/or written devotions I’m going to be leading our people to read and journey through the entire Bible in 2021 in a way that will help them learn the stories and principles of the Bible and bring transformation to their lives, circumstances and relationships. Don’t miss this opportunity to participate in a great adventure through 2021. Sign up today to be a part of the Journey Through The Bible adventure (www.celebrationchurch.org/devotions).

This month, we are still collecting our EVERYONE NEEDS JESUS Christmas/Missions Offering. Our Christmas/Missions Offering goes directly to support Missionaries, Mission Ministries, and Mission Projects locally and around the world. We ask our People to give to this offering above their regular offering as a “Christmas gift to Jesus” to further support His work. You can give to the Everyone Needs Jesus offering today along with your regular offering, or you can give online at www.celebrationchurch.org/christmasoffering.

Thanks again for joining us for our Christmas service. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Thanks for joining us today,

Dennis Watson

Lead Pastor, Celebration Church